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Lyman Knute Swenson
Lyman K. Swenson.jpg
Swenson in June 1942
Born (1892-10-23)October 23, 1892
Died November 13, 1942(1942-11-13) (aged 50)
Place of birth Pleasant Grove, Utah
Place of death Killed in action during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Captain
Commands held USS Isabel (PY-10)
Destroyer Division 64
USS Juneau (CL-52)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
*Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Awards Navy Cross

Lyman Knute Swenson (23 October 1892 – 13 November 1942),[1] was an American naval officer. Swenson was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah and graduated from the Naval Academy on June 2, 1916. After service on board Vermont (BB-20) and USS Denver (C-14), he prepared for submarine duty. After serving on board USS D-1 (SS-17) during World War I, he was given command of H-6, 26 May 1919.

In 1921 he returned to surface ships, serving in USS Arkansas (BB-33) and USS New Mexico (BB-40), before commanding Isabel (PY-10) and then Destroyer Division 64. Juneau (CL-52) came under his command 18 December 1941 while still under construction. The newly promoted captain and the newly built light cruiser were both lost in the latter stage of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal 13 November 1942. Twice torpedoed during what historian S. E. Morison called the “wildest most desperate sea fight since Jutland”, Juneau sank rapidly, taking under the captain and most of her crew, including the five Sullivan brothers. This battle prevented the Japanese from landing reinforcements on Guadalcanal.

For his “extraordinary heroism...daring and determination...” Captain Swenson was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.


In 1943, the destroyer USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was named in his honor.


  1. US People--Swenson, Lyman K. Retrieved 2008-01-19
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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